Oct 16, 2010 0
I see companies everyday that are in technical peril. Their systems are bloated, complicated, and fragile. How do I know? – I look at their Help Wanted pages.
When a company is looking for a web developer, they have to ask for specific qualities and competencies such as the ability to program in specific languages (PHP, SQL, Java, C#, etc.), the use of specific development tools (version control, system administration, networking tools, SDKs, etc.), platforms, (Windows, Linux, Unix), and various ways of structuring, working with, and presenting data (databases, SQL, html, flash, etc.). From these details, one can figure out the technology and structure of their online information system. It is common sense to see that many companies are a disaster waiting to happen.
This is a system that is so complicated, it is begging to fail, and eventually, the person that takes that job is being set up for failure. Even if you can keep up with the technological demands, due diligence from competitors offshore will render your efforts futile (to the extent that these technical competencies are standardized, they become a commodity on the international markets). Superman can’t help, and giving up is no option.
Solution: Restore sanity! These businesses need to rethink their technology plan. While handling day to day operation of the websites and social nets, effort needs to be made to refactor the software system and/or redesign the technology and business process so that it’s simpler as well as more flexible and fault tolerant. This is more “sustainable” as well.
That means, stakeholders need look at their business from a wider perspective (a global perspective for example, or coordinating better with your value chain). Look at the how your business fits in with what’s happening now (not what was happening when you started the business “x” years ago). How can you eliminate complication? Keep in mind that learning doesn’t stop – you may have to learn new skills, languages, systems, in the process.
Finally, I don’t think there are any “quick fixes“. If that is what they are looking for from me, I’m not that kind of superman.